Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bracken Library 40th Anniversary Celebration Next Week

Images from the Digital Media Repository

Bracken Library 40th Anniversary Celebration

Ball State University Libraries is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the opening of Bracken Library.  The dedication ceremony for Bracken Library, named for Ball State University trustee and benefactor Alexander M. Bracken, took place on March 26, 1976.  The Library is hosting a celebration (complete with cake) on Friday, March 25 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Archives and Special Collections on the second floor, and University administrators will speak at 1:30 pm.

The celebration marks the opening of a new exhibit in the Archives and Special Collections, Bracken Library:  40 Years of Service, Innovation, and Growth.  The exhibit runs through May 6 and is organized into a timeline highlighting major developments throughout Bracken Library’s first 40 years, including the automation of the Library’s card catalog, the development of innovative classroom spaces for library instruction, and the acquisition and creation of signature research collections, online databases, and technology.  The exhibit includes historic photographs and digitized film from the Library’s early years and a jewel-covered book donated by the Bracken family.

The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library will feature an exhibit of the floor plans for the Library in 1976 and floor plans from today.  Changes in the layout of Library collections and the changes in available technologies can be viewed on the floor plans.  For example, the Library did not include one computer in 1976, and typing rooms were available for use by students and faculty.  However, the 320,000 square foot building was planned with an eye toward the future and designed with flexible space to accommodate the changes in academic needs and a growing student population.  An interesting note about the 1976 design of the Library:  Smoking lounges were available throughout the building (denoted by the pipe symbol on plan above, click to enlarge).

For more information about this exhibit or the opening event, please contact the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.

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